While I busily edit the 52 letters I wrote to our first granddaughter, I wait — somewhat patiently — for the arrival of her baby sister. Understand, I’m not nearly as anxious as Becky is, but I sure want to meet this new member of the Wolfe’s Den. Since Dave and I live as retirees, when we get the call, we’ll head out toward Georgia. I have our bags partially packed and have purchased two new little girl outfits, one for each granddaughter.
Waiting does not come naturally to me.Exodus recalls Moses and Joshua leaving Arron and Hur and telling them to “Wait here until we come back to you.” Anyone who had a dispute was supposed to come to the two left waiting and have the matter settled. We know, sadly, what happened. Aaron started crafting the golden calf.Later, the Levitical laws stipulated the time a woman had to wait after childbirth before declared purified. As Joshua prepares to take Jericho, he sends me to wait in ambush between Bethel and Ai. As the new leader, Joshua prod the people into action, asking them “How long will you wait before you begin to take possession of the land that the Lord, the God of your fathers, has given you?”
Ruth waits by Boaz, King Saul makes sacrifice himself, refusing to wait for Samuel. Also rebellious, Joab says, “I’m not going to wait for you,” and then plunges three javelins into Absalom’s heart. Job waits for a audience with God and then realizes the folly of his questioning the Almighty. The prophets waited for the Messiah while they preached the message of repentance that fell on deaf ears. During 400 years of silence, Israel suffered, but continued to hope for the coming of Yeshua. Now we look to Revelation, saying, “Maranatha, even so come Lord Jesus.”
The psalms give many practical words on the subject of waiting. “Wait for the Lord; be strong and take heart and wait for the Lord.” (Ps 27:14) “We wait in hope for the Lord; He is our hope and our shield.” (Ps 33:20) “Wait for the Lord and keep His way.” (Ps 37:34) Then there’s the confidence in Ps 38:15 when it says, “I wait for you, O Lord; you will answer, O Lord my God.” Again, in Ps 130:6, the psalmist affirms “My soul waits for the Lord more than the watchmen wait for the morning.” That’s hopeful anticipation. These verses show me that waiting takes strength, heart, hope, and confidence.
Whenever I struggle with waiting, I return to Isaiah 30:18 where I see the depth of God’s love for me. “Yet the Lord longs to be gracious to you; he rises to show you compassion. For the Lord is a God of justice. Blessed are all who wait for Him.” So whether we wait for babies, a new job, a medical diagnosis or for the coming of spring, we wait in the confidence of our God: “I am God, and there is no other; I am God and there is none like me, declaring the end from the beginning and from ancient times things not yet done, saying, ‘My counsel shall stand, and I will accomplish all my purpose.”